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Do soldiers deserve any special kind of respect? watch

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  • View Poll Results: Do soldiers deserve special respect over other professions?
    Yes, unconditionally
    89
    29.67%
    Only in certain cases
    112
    37.33%
    No, it is just another profession
    99
    33.00%

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    Personally, I don't feel obligated to respect them for anything they do; though, I can see how it is valiant (or just brave) of them to step up to such duties.

    I don't respect them because they're merely pawns, would/could-be murderers, and are ultimately following a profession that is inherently destructive on their own will. A lot of soldiers aren't even joining for the prestigious right of "defending our country;" many just join because it's an opportunity - a job like any other. They find themselves in a transitional stage in their lives where they're tired of working a nine-to-five (or, in our current economic climate, claiming their dole money for months at a time) and decide to enlist in the army with the hope of offsetting an interesting arc in their hapless lives.

    Aside from that, I doubt any soldier enlisting as of now is saying to themselves "By God, I've got to do something and help stop these terrorists! Sign me up!" - if there were an occurrence that prompted immediate intervention from the public and threatened the lives of millions, then I could boldly sympathize with anyone joining the army on a whim.

    As a regular civilian, paying their wages through taxes paid to the government should be enough of a tribute to them. I may not be out their popping bullet holes in people, but I am paying for these bullets and contributing to their efforts, whether I want to or not.
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    They're not volunteering if they're getting paid a yearly salary for a full time job is it? It's a job. Look at my previous post for the explanation on why something being dangerous doesn't make it admirable.
    You're just letting your opinion of the Iraq war provide you with a means to judge soldiers. Respect should be given to them as they are always prepared to fight where the government deems it necessarry, whether at home or abroad.

    The same could be argued with the Army's action in the Iberian Peninsula in the early 1800s. It did not directly affect the people and they weren't really in favour of it (extra tax to fund the army) but it served the long term interests of the nation.

    Either way, the soldiers were still risking their own lives. In Iraq, soldiers were protecting civilian aid workers, without the soldiers presence they could not have operated there.
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    (Original post by Dnator)
    As an outsider, I would tend to agree with this analogy
    As he himself admitted, there are a couple of flaws.

    If the dog had come to your garden and bitten you first quite aggressively and then returned to it's garden where it was docile, then what?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Oh well. 5 guys, that's got to representative of the 200,000 in the British armed forces.
    Officers aside, I doubt there are many bright and forward thinking guys signing up - why would they?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    However, the wars were as a result of terrorism, had the wars not started do you think the terrorism would have stopped?

    "Oh, they're ignoring us... Yeah, ok, we'll stop"

    Somehow I doubt it. Undeniably, it helped their cause, but they became more concerned about preserving themselves where they were already set up than pushing out into the west.

    I'm firmly of the belief that by being in Iraq and Afghanistan we've stopped more attacks on the UK/US. The wars created terrorism. But more terrorism than was already happening or going to happen? Very much doubt it - but I am aware that's an impossible point to back up.
    I don't think that terrorism would have stopped, but I don't think that avoiding a war would have done anything to encourage terrorists. It seems to me completely ineffective to start a full scale war over actions committed by small groups of individuals not affiliated with any country.

    In the case of Aghanistan, there's at least some validity to claiming that the intent was to stop terrorism (even though I don't think it was very effective), but to suggest the Iraq war prevented terrorism when none of the reasons used at the time to justify the war turned out to have any validity really strikes me as a poor attempt at justifying a war which very publicly has been shown to have had all the reasons behind it fully undermined.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    As he himself admitted, there are a couple of flaws.

    If the dog had come to your garden and bitten you first quite aggressively and then returned to it's garden where it was docile, then what?
    How did iraq come into our garden and bite us?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Oh well. 5 guys, that's got to representative of the 200,000 in the British armed forces.
    Jus' sayin'.
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    (Original post by Dnator)
    Officers aside, I doubt there are many bright and forward thinking guys signing up - why would they?
    Aside from getting qualifications that they couldn't get anywhere else, family traditions [which still mean a lot to some], there are a lot - and I've met many - who want to be in the service of their country.

    Not tub-thumping, flag waving patriots, but people who want to make a difference.

    And then there are the ones who just genuinely want to join the Army, the RAF or the Navy.

    A life in service wearing the uniform is massively appealing to a lot of people, and those who've never felt the same attraction can't and won't ever understand it.
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    They don't imo deserve any special respect for being in the army as it is a job, and they know what it involves before they join. I don't know anybody in the army, but there are obviously some people who join it as a last resort or to "shoot ragheads" or because they want the hero status.
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    (Original post by Dnator)
    How did iraq come into our garden and bite us?
    Retrospectively, it didn't. But at the time, how were we to know that it did not?

    The analogy is more apt with Afghanistan, anyway.
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    Aaaaaanyway, we have wandered somewhat from the topic....





    Ask 99% of soldiers, airmen and seaman and they don't want to be respected. They'd appreciate being acknowledged once in a while, sure, but no more so than anyone else does. They'd just rather not be so openly disrespected for mistakes that weren't theirs.
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    (Original post by Addzter)
    The fact that they fought in Iraq and Afghanistan is irrelevant (personally, I think we should pull them out of Afghanistan) - the fact is that they're fighting for their country. Are you suggesting troops don't deserve respect?
    No- I'm saying that they don't automatically deserve respect for what they do. They deserve respect on an individual basis regarding their conduct.

    The taliban also are fighting for their country. Suicide bombers would probably say the same. Do they automatically deserve respect?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Aside from getting qualifications that they couldn't get anywhere else, family traditions [which still mean a lot to some], there are a lot - and I've met many - who want to be in the service of their country.

    Not tub-thumping, flag waving patriots, but people who want to make a difference.

    And then there are the ones who just genuinely want to join the Army, the RAF or the Navy.

    A life in service wearing the uniform is massively appealing to a lot of people, and those who've never felt the same attraction can't and won't ever understand it.
    I can understand it, I have just never actually met a squaddie with that outlook (some of the dumbest people I have met - obviously a small sample). And even so - why should somebody doing what they want to do be automatically drenched in respect?
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    I've often heard recently how soldiers should be treated with more respect and they don't get enough praise and admiration from the public here in the UK compared to the extremely patriotic USA or North Korea but do they? They aren't conscripts so they've joined the army through their own choice and they are getting paid a salary for it (a few are voluntary I know but generally speaking) so they are fully aware of the risks and dangers involved when they sign up and the fact that they may be sent to war but still do it for various reasons, money being one of them as well as the opportunity to learn skills and get experience which will help them acquire a successful career later on down the line.

    What about the phrase "our troops our fighting for our country and dying in Afghanistan for us" etc? Well yes they have been fighting in Afghanistan and dying, but most people are against the war and want troops to pull out and most were against the Iraq war to begin with. They're not fighting for "our country" because our country isn't being invaded, they're fighting for political purposes in this case to appease our most important ally, the US.

    When you sign up to join the army and go and fight in wars you may not necessarily agree with, you have effectively consented to do anything the government wants you to do. If the BNP were therefore elected by some miracle and told the army to forcibly deport all ethnic minorities and kill the ones who resist, soldiers would comply even though it is completely morally unjustifiable. Does this kind of submission to government by people warrant respect and would more wars be prevented if soldiers didn't provide governments with such a level of obedience?

    Note there are other jobs which are very difficult and dangerous and may be more morally acceptable, e.g. being a doctor, safety inspector or an aid worker.
    I think we should give soldiers a special kind of respect. Just because they have to fight our wars, even if they don't agree with them. And war is a terrible thing and so many of the soldiers suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. I don't think anyone would want to fight in a war if they knew how horrible it is but I don't think everyone who signs up to the army fully understands that.

    Either way, it's not just the danger that commends respect, it's the fact that they have to see the horrors of war which is terrible to see.
    I have a friend who is in the army, and I have a special respect for him. It's not a job that should be, but war is part of our life, and soldiers are the people who have to deal with that issue while we can stay in the comfort of our homes, not properly dealing with the issue. So I respect all soldiers, even those we fight.

    As for other jobs, I would say I also have respect for doctors and charity workers and diplomats and all other jobs like that. But it is a different kind of respect. Because it is a different job.

    Just my opinion on the matter.

    EDIT:

    No- I'm saying that they don't automatically deserve respect for what they do. They deserve respect on an individual basis regarding their conduct.

    The taliban also are fighting for their country. Suicide bombers would probably say the same. Do they automatically deserve respect?
    I agree that not all soldiers deserve the same level of respect, and it should be decided on an individual basis. But they should all receive at least some respect for being a soldier.

    And yes I think all soldiers deserve respect, but not all respect is a "I think they are so brave and amazing *patriotic moment here*"

    I think though that whether a person is a soldier or terrorist depends on what view you look at them from. And as such the kind of respect changes. For example, I would not consider our soldiers and the taliban to be worthy of the same respect, but then that is just my opinion and taliban supporters will obviously view things differently.
    I do still however respect the taliban soldiers, even if it is different to how I respect our soldiers.

    I don't support or like or agree with my enemies, but I can still have a certain respect for them.
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    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    No- I'm saying that they don't automatically deserve respect for what they do. They deserve respect on an individual basis regarding their conduct.

    The taliban also are fighting for their country. Suicide bombers would probably say the same. Do they automatically deserve respect?
    No, because the country the Taliban are fighting for is a brutal one that denies women their rights, amongst other injustices.

    When you say they deserve respect on an individual basis regarding their conduct, do you mean on the battlefield? Because if so, that's a given - why would a soldier who, say, beat up prisoners deserve our respect?
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    (Original post by Dnator)
    I can understand it, I have just never actually met a squaddie with that outlook (some of the dumbest people I have met - obviously a small sample). And even so - why should somebody doing what they want to do be automatically drenched in respect?
    I'm not saying they should [see #111], just that if they were better understood then they wouldn't be so outwardly disrespected.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Aaaaaanyway, we have wandered somewhat from the topic....





    Ask 99% of soldiers, airmen and seaman and they don't want to be respected. They'd appreciate being acknowledged once in a while, sure, but no more so than anyone else does. They'd just rather not be so openly disrespected for mistakes that weren't theirs.
    Exactly. There is no real reason to disrespect Soldiers themselves unless, in the line of duty, they have caused atrocities, or unjustifiable acts (which sadly does happen).

    Respect on the other hand for me isn't automatically earned by soldiers. I do however respect some of the qualities that many soldiers do indeed have, such as bravery, selflessness etc..
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    (Original post by Addzter)
    No, because the country the Taliban are fighting for is a brutal one that denies women their rights, amongst other injustices.
    And the country that American soldiers are fighting for is a just, international law abiding, and honest one?
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    (Original post by Addzter)
    No, because the country the Taliban are fighting for is a brutal one that denies women their rights, amongst other injustices.

    When you say they deserve respect on an individual basis regarding their conduct, do you mean on the battlefield? Because if so, that's a given - why would a soldier who, say, beat up prisoners deserve our respect?
    Precisely my point. I won't respect someone just because they're a soldier, or just because 'they're fighting to protect us' or whatever. Because if I do, that means I respect the soldiers who commit atrocities- purely because they're soldiers and I must respect them. I respect them as individuals based on their actions- whether they're a soldier or not is irrelevent, because as you've pointed out, just because you're a soldier that doesn't necessarily mean you deserve respect.
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    (Original post by the writer)
    um, no, they especially deserve DISrespect...
    Why exactly?
 
 
 
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